Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Eddie flexed his third arm.  He was contractually obligated to go in and get the thing painted to match the rest of his body.  The Network would get pissy if the wrong logos or color schemes were present for too long.  Whatever.  He’d earned his “upgrade.”  To the victors went the spoils.  It was aggravating to have to drag the rest of the group along, but he’d needed the fire support on this one.  Besides, one did not simply miss an opportunity to have a Glitter Boy provide covering fire.  That said, he’d probably fly solo for a while, or be a little choosier about his next crew.

He ran north, back toward the town slash military base that he’d woken up in.  He didn’t really want to see Lynch again.  Maybe he wouldn’t have to.  He did need more camera equipment if he was going to go solo for any amount of time, and he also needed to dump this week’s video feed.  “Killstreak” had to be a viable character or they’d repo his body. 

He shuddered at the thought – he might not be the first person to live in his cybernetic frame.  Ghoulish.  Worse than wearing used underwear.  Eddie focused his attention on his sensory inputs.  Forest streaked by him.  As he ran, his targeting software would read the landscape and fill in details on everything he looked at.  No matter how boring those details were, he couldn’t help but know them.  Maybe he could learn to tune that out again.  Normal humans could see things without immediately being force-fed every fact about whatever their gaze drifted across. 

Being a full conversion cyborg wasn’t all bad news.  Once he had decided where to go, a waypoint marker had appeared in his vision.  Pilots had to set markers.  Nomads had to consult maps.  Even mages had to cast a spell or some crap.  And the running.  Eddie could just run.  Everywhere.  He’d need to stop to sleep, but his legs would never tire.  Not having to do cardio ever again – Eddie could adjust to that. 

He became aware of an incoming call.  Another new weirdness.  Not hearing, just knowing that there was a transmission waiting for his attention.  He triggered his radio.  There wasn’t a person on the other end.  It was a coded request for identification.  Eddie broadcast his credentials.  He couldn’t be impersonated by any normal means – his identity was hardwired into his electronics suite.  He couldn’t vocalize that information.  He couldn’t even access it beyond opting to broadcast it as encrypted data.  The Network owned that too. 

The ID request told him that he was passing into the secured area where he had woken up.  Wellington, he became informed.  Just south of Erie.  East of Chi-Town.  The forest gave way to grass, and buildings rose from the horizon.  He was very close, now.  No one with any sense built anything over four stories without also having what could be described as breathtaking anti-air capabilities.  Most of any given structure was underground here. 

Eddie slowed his stride to match traffic as he traded grass and shrubs for roads.  His footfalls grew much louder, but he wasn’t worried about stealth here.  The mid-day sun glinted off of his high-gloss decals.  Further proof that being a walking billboard conflicted, ever so slightly, with being a military-grade combat ‘borg.  For every time he thought about how he was glad to be alive, there was one where he wished Lynch had just left him to die.  He zigged and zagged through the streets until he got to his waypoint.  Another two-story square planted in the earth, its blank concrete faces marred by roll-up loading bay doors and automated turrets. 

Eddie picked a door and approached.  He transmitted his identity, and the door quickly and surprisingly silently rolled open.  Immediately inside was a rack that loosely resembled a forklift, a workstation, and a large bench.  Eddie’s legs worked fine, so he took a seat on the bench.  It groaned as it took on his weight, but it held. The door rolled closed behind him.  He had no doubt that someone knew he was here, so he took the opportunity to nap.  If a tech didn’t wake him up, he’d find one when he was ready.

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Desdemona was not happy.  She had played everything so carefully.  She had heeded PAM’s every warning, kept careful track of all of her assets, and burned oh so many resources with safe retreats.  It was all for nothing; everyone knew where she was and everyone had ordered the Professor to kill her.  On top of that, the Professor – a mechanized tornado of destruction – had hijacked her whole operation.  God fucking dammit.  It was like she suddenly didn’t matter.

Wait.  That wasn’t true.  If she didn’t matter, no one would care that she was alive and that clearly wasn’t the case.

Des took a long drink from the ancient wine bottle and leaned over the rail of the bell tower.  This would be her last breath of fresh air for a while, and she was determined to savor it.  She set the wine on the railing and pulled out a cigarette.  The one silver lining in all this was that the professor had gotten her some pre-war cigarettes.  There was a time when she’d have been concerned about the soft orange glow giving away her position, but the dual kill orders from two of the other big three players in the Commonwealth had made her fatalistic.  Besides, her executioner was busy setting up a scam of epic proportions.

She leaned on the railing, and blew a plume of smoke into the darkness.  Fuck it, she thought.  Yeah, they’d save a shitload more Gen 3 synths this way.  She did want that.  She started mulling over alternate names for the Synth Retention Bureau.  Synth Placement, maybe?  After all, the Professor wanted Desdemona to be the new head.

Ash cranked the bolt tight on the left leg plating. Between the legs of the walking tank, she could see the dark form of X6-88 as he adjusted the lenses on his rifle. “X6,” Ash said. “What do you think of all this?” He tilted his head. He was probably looking at her, but with his dark shades it was hard to be sure. Ash continued. “Father says that I’ll be the new director of the Institute when he’s gone.” Father was her son, Shaun. She hated calling him Father. She didn’t like calling him Shaun. X6 still said nothing. She took the leap. “The fact that the SRB is hunting synths and not protecting them… It feels wrong to me. If I take charge, I would change that.”

“I trust Father’s direction, and he has put his faith in you,” X6 said. He paused. “You have proven yourself capable in all ways, and so I can trust that as well.” He turned back to the workbench.

“The changes I would make…” Ash took a deep breath. “Doctor Ayo would not like them. He would likely react more violently than the men in Bio-Science. The other Coursers might also resist.” They would definitely resist. Ash stood behind her armor, still keeping it between her and X6. There was a very real chance that he would not take what she had to say very well.

“Ma’am, what changes would you make?” X6 turned to face Ash, crossing his massive arms. His black leather trenchcoat squeaked with the motion. Ash steeled her nerves. There hadn’t been a huge number of things she’d done since coming out of Vault 111 that didn’t end in a bloodbath. After all, even a synth could bleed…

Marionette

Posted: December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

“It’s like existentialism in reverse, man!”

“You’re drunk.”

“Maybe a little…”

“And I hate talking about this shit.”

“C’mon, man. Think! It’s like, since seeing is believing, when someone sees something, it makes it real!”

“Will you shut up and grab an end?”

“So when these kids see the puppet show, it gives the puppets life!”

“You’re an idiot.”

“And you have no magic in your soul.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

Silence, punctuated by thumping and scraping of crates and cases. The marionette stirred. The drunk road hand was possibly an idiot. The surly one possibly had no magic in his soul. The marionette didn’t care at all. It clutched at the toy scimitar, and brushed one hand against the blade. It had taken a long time in the absence of a proper whetstone, but the small wooden pirate didn’t have much else to do in the back of the truck. The truck started with a growl, sending erratic vibrations through all of its cargo. The marionette dropped its tiny sword. It flexed its hands. The hands were not built articulate; the puppet had quite literally willed them flexible. If it could grunt with effort, it would have – the fingers popped free of each other. The construct picked up the sword much more easily this time. It would have grinned, but it hadn’t had a reason before, so wasn’t yet capable. The thing shuffled its way free of the other puppets. Why they weren’t moving was of no concern at the moment.

It held up the left wrist, twisting so that the joining of wood and wiring were on top. The thing slid the sword along its arm. Blade met cable. The thing pushed, and the wire separated without a sound. It switched hands and sliced its other arm free. Next came legs, and head. The construct could no longer be considered a marionette. It looked down at the tangle of loose wire that traced back to the controls. If it could have snarled in contempt, it would have. It would never let another control it. The tiny wooden pirate climbed up to the latch on the case. It stuck its sword into the mechanism and set about opening the latch.

. . .

The truck was late to its destination. The surly road hand blamed the drunk one for not latching the back of the truck. The drunk one lacked the wherewithal to defend himself. They had been pulled over by state patrol because the bay door was open. The only apparent damage was the loss of one marionette and the word “Freedom” scratched into the lid of one of the cases.

Razed

Posted: October 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’m staring at the monitor on my laptop.  It is currently telling me that there is no recoverable data and patiently waiting for me to approve a fresh install of the operating system.  All the Christmas photos from last year are gone.  Every work in progress in Word is gone.  Every character sheet and campaign idea is gone.  I know I’m a god-damned idiot for not thoroughly backing everything up.  I have no one to blame but myself.  That doesn’t stop me from being filled with volcanic rage. 

This blog is now very nearly the sum of my written works.  By happy accident, I have Test Subject.docx saved on my phone, as well as the PowerPoint file for Radiant.  My camera’s memory card will still have some photos and videos.  Facebook and Skydrive still have photos.  Anything I didn’t share with you is now gone.

My mouth tastes like ash.

Nothing like it.

Posted: May 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Fuck you, Universe.

Atlas

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’m dealing with some stuff at the moment.  Regular posts resume after Easter.   Don’t give up on me.